Senate's first vote on Kavanaugh expected on Friday

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Susan Collins of ME and Jeff Flake of Arizona voted yes, as did Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

On Friday, Flake voted to end debate and advance Kavanaugh's nomination for a final vote. A procedural vote on Kavanaugh's nomination is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. EDT Friday. It also means that in the unlikely event one of the "yea" votes on cloture turns into a "nay" on confirmation, the Kavanaugh cause has one vote to spare.

The Washington Post's editorial board urged lawmakers to vote "no" on Judge Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court.

Several recent polls show that Republican enthusiasm about voting, which had lagged behind Democrats, jumped after a contentious Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last week. Kavanaugh has denied all the charges.

'Never before have we had a nominee display such flagrant partisanship and open hostility at a hearing, ' said Feinstein of California.

Most Democrats opposed Trump's nomination of Kavanaugh from the outset. On Thursday, senators were allowed to view a copy of the report in a secure location at the U.S. Capitol.

Friday started as spellbinding drama as the quartet - Collins and fellow Republicans Jeff Flake, of Arizona, and Lisa Murkowski, of Alaska, and Democrat Joe Manchin, of West Virginia - gradually began revealing how they would vote on Kavanaugh's nomination.

The committee, which has turned into a partisan hotbed in the past five years, has never had a Republican woman serve on it, even as the Senate's ranks have doubled from three to six female GOP senators in recent years. Republicans swiftly declared that the FBI's report, which was shrouded in secrecy and accessed only by senators and a select group of staffers, absolved Kavanaugh of any wrongdoing.

Democrats have sought to block Kavanaugh's confirmation since soon after Trump nominated him in July.

The American Bar Association said Friday it's re-examining its "well qualified" rating of Kavanaugh because of "new information of a material nature regarding temperament" during the hearing.

"He will be an illegitimate justice, and his confirmation will mark a point of no return for the Supreme Court's reputation as the one, apolitical branch of government", Fallon said.

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The U.S. Supreme Court is seen at near sunset in Washington Thursday Oct. 4 2018. ASSOCIATED PRESS

"I hope we can just move forward and get this done", said another senior Republican senator, Orrin Hatch of Utah. He might be called on to rule on issues stemming from the special counsel investigation of Trump.

The US Senate on Friday narrowly approved moving to a final vote on President Donald Trump's embattled Supreme Court amid continuing controversy over sexual abuse allegations against him.

In an angry rebuttal later that day, Kavanaugh said the accusations were part of a "political hit" by Democrats. "They have a flawed nominee", Schumer said.

Another undecided Republican, Maine Sen.

Trump had previously refused to reopen the Federal Bureau of Investigation probe.

Last week, Christine Blasey Ford told the Senate Judiciary Committee that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a high school party in the early 1980s. Two other women also emerged and accused him of other incidents of sexual misconduct.

The allegations of a third accuser, Julie Swetnick, were not a focus of the investigation.

Trump decried "harsh and unfair treatment" of Kavanaugh in a Thursday tweet.

Mr Trump mocked Dr Ford on Tuesday during a political rally in MS, further angering Democrats and women campaigning for an end to sexual violence.

"The allegations fail to meet the "more likely than not" standard", Collins said as she announced her vote. "I'm in awe of their courage, too", she said in a statement. They said the process ignored many potential witnesses, including Ford.

There's no actual way of knowing who's telling the truth.

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